From the Vault: The Mexican Road Race

This blog is from December 19, 2006, and was reposted to our blog in January of 2011.

It’s the first narrative North Bay Bavarian wrote after deciding to enter the 2007 La Carrera Panamericana, which was more than 12 years ago.

Our goals for the writings were to amuse ourselves and to attract some big time sponsors to help pay the entry fee and maybe we’d land some free food along the way. Although neither of those ideas really panned out, here’s how we got our feet wet in the racing circuit.

The Mexican Road Race,” was one of the most famous events in auto racing history, attracting the world’s greatest drivers.  It was canceled in 1955 because of the cost and concerns about safety.  In 1988 the event was revived as a stage rally on closed public highways and for thirty years has offered both professional and amateur drivers an opportunity to experience the thrills and challenges of the original Pan- Am.

Today, the Mexican Road Race is one of its kind— asking drivers to race against the clock at high speed on public highways, mostly through the mountains of central Mexico for a week. It’s a blood pumpin’, adrenaline pushing, BMW, and race performance enthusiasts dream.

The Beginning

Scene: 2007 La Carrera Panamericana. The race is about 2,000 miles long and 7 days of racing, from southern Mexico to the Texas border. This was the 20th anniversary of the revived race. The crew had been talking about this for years, and we finally rallied the guys up enough to get excited about entering and actually going for it.

We poured over the rules.

We talked the North American Coordinator for the race.

Watched a few videos… and…

after checking the savings account, we are on the hunt for a car.

The Rules

The car has to be built before 1965, and with Rick owning a BMW repair shop, a BMW seemed like a good plan. Only BMW didn’t seem to make a car to fit our needs or budget before 1965.

OK, we’re talking budget, how about a Volkswagen, no better, a Karmann Ghia, more sporty! How about a death trap so when we go off a cliff it’ll be in a fit of glory! What about a Mini Cooper? Naw…. better, sure, but what we need is some good ‘ol Detroit Iron.

So, that’s what brings us to these pictures. A few days of looking at Craigslist, a couple of phone calls, an e-mail showing these photos, and $700, we have ourselves a race car!

We had a blast building our the beast and wanted to share our journey with you. We’re true lovers of the racing circuit and work with people all over the country that share the same passions as we do for the sport.

Do you have a race prep question? Are you interested in getting into the racing circuit? Call us.